The Paradox of Concealing Stuttering

I have been captivated with the experience of hiding parts of our identities since early childhood. The movie Mulan came out when I was a tween, and I can still remember singing the song “Reflection” on repeat in my bedroom. These were some of my favorite lines: “Why must we all conceal What we think, … read more…

Understanding Stuttering Therapy Through A Trauma-Informed Lens

“I don’t understand. I was ready. Truly ready. But when I opened my mouth to speak I blocked so hard and couldn’t get any sounds out. It felt like a thousand bricks lodged in my throat. When I finally did get the sounds moving, I stuttered so hard. Every syllable I uttered felt like a … read more…

Reflections on Neurodiversity and Stuttering

Learnings from the 2019 Annual Conference of the National Stuttering Association of the USA In 2019 I was surprised to receive an invitation to address the annual  pre-conference of the National Stuttering Association of America (NSA). To this day, when it comes to neurodivergent conditions, people tend to think of Autism, ADHD, the Dys “sisters”, Lexia, … read more…

A parallel journey to realising the power of stammering as an art form

When I was growing up I was always given the impression that my stammer was a sign of weakness, something that should be cured or fade away. I turned to art to drown out these expectations and, in a way, give me a second voice people actually listened to. It wasn’t until I was an … read more…

The Fluency Questionnaire

To celebrate International Stammering Awareness Day 2021 and to contribute to the International Stuttering Association online conference, we developed The Fluency Questionnaire.  Inspired by The Heterosexual Questionnaire attributed to Martin Rochlin (1972), it is based on fluency-phobic premises, rather than the fluency-philic premises currently dominate in today’s society. The Fluency Questionnaire aims to upend the typical dynamics … read more…

A stammer: in a class of its own

I have been wondering of late, what it is about a stammer that seems to rumble the core of the whole communication experience. Compared to other speaking differences, such as speaking fast, hesitating, or needing time to find a word, a stammer above all else sparks stigma. In recent years, emphasis has been placed on … read more…

From the pain to the joy of silence

It’s October 1986.  I’m a timid, stammering sixth form student on a school trip to London from rural East Yorkshire to see two of the outstanding actresses of their generation perform in Nuria Espert’s acclaimed adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s last and arguably greatest play, The House of Bernarda Alba.  Set in southern Spain in … read more…

‘Stammering Pride and Prejudice: Difference not Defect’: First anniversary celebration

  It is incredible to think that ‘Stammering Pride and Prejudice: Difference not Defect‘ has been published for a full year now. To celebrate the book’s first anniversary, we have released the Introduction to read for free on the J&R Press webpage here. You can also listen to Patrick Campbell reading the Introduction aloud as … read more…

Talking, typing, and the social model of disability

When I was in primary school, I had a teacher who was over-enthusiastic about the virtues of touch-typing. Over the years, he slowly collected disused desktop computers, building up his collection until there was one for every student in his class. They lined the perimeter of the classroom, balanced on assorted desks and tables. He … read more…

Stammering in times of Corona

‘Stammering does not exist in a vacuum’ I remember being drawn to this line when editing Christopher Constantino’s chapter of Stammering Pride and Prejudice. It’s the type of sentence I tend to like: it’s short, simple but it also makes you think. I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently. I’m not sure about you, … read more…